I am not sleeping well or at the very least not getting a restful sleep.
I am feeling fragile, emotional.
I feel blindsided by the feelings that are coming to the surface. I shouldn’t be surprised because I am approaching a time of year that holds a lot of pain for me; a period when my world was turned upside down and I felt my power was stripped away.
This Sunday it will be one year since it all started unraveling… not that I was aware of it at the time, but looking back (hindsight being 20/20) I can see where it all started.
We were at the casino. I was playing Pai Gow he was playing Black Jack. He was drunk, very drunk. Unfortunately, this was not an uncommon occurrence during this last year of our marriage. I knew I would have to drive home because I had been the designated driver for the last several months. When I went to find him and tell him I was ready to go he was quite wobbly and a bit full of himself.
When I look back at that night, I often wonder how such a silly argument could start the domino effect that would end my marriage. He told me he had been flirting (his word not mine) with a recently divorced woman we both knew. She was a casino acquaintance; a nice lady going through a tough time.
“Why would you flirt with her?” I remember asking him.
“Cuz’ she needs a boost to her self-esteem!” He sounded slightly defensive, with an unattractive slur.
Slurred… that was my reality these last several months and I was concerned. Not that I wasn’t drinking as well but mine was very controlled. I know my limit (two drinks); especially if I have to drive then I add two bottles of water and an extra hour for every one drink.
“Well, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” I said slightly annoyed. “When a man flirts with a woman she thinks he is interested in her. I don’t want her to think you are interested in her. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
This conversation was happening as we walked to the door, gave the valet our ticket and waited to collect my car. “Why are you jealous!” he demanded. “I’m not jealous.” I say, “It’s disrespectful to me if you flirt with another woman… especially one that I know. She is going to think you are interested in her and that bothers me.” I finished feeling a bit exasperated. I did not want to have this discussion. He was drunk, I was annoyed and this was a no win situation.
“You Don’t Have To Be So Jealous!” he almost shouted. “She’s Just a Nice Lady That Could Use a Compliment.”
Really? I know another “nice lady” that could use a compliment but then again I don’t think this conversation is about me… my bad.
“ZOMG! I can’t believe you are jealous!” now he is raising his voice and I am super annoyed. I am not jealous (although at this point I am thinking he wants me to be) but nothing I say is penetrating his alcohol addled brain. I pull into our drive way, push the car into gear, get out and storm up the stairs and yes, I slammed the door.
I turned to him and say, “I refuse to have an alcohol infused argument with you. I won’t do this. Not now. Not ever.”
Then I stomp upstairs, head into the kitchen where I proceed to empty out the remnants of any Vodka (Belvedere) and Whiskey (Jamesons) down the drain. When I finished pouring out the bottles I threw them as hard as I could into the sink. As they shattered into little bits and pieces I had no idea how eerily similar my heart would look and feel in just a few weeks’ time. I grabbed the garbage can, cleaned up my mess (wishing it were that easy to clean up our relationship) then went downstairs.
You were sitting at your desk weaving back and forth a bit, pretending to play World of Warcraft. In a calm, controlled manner I said to you, “I am done with this. I will not deal with you when you are drinking alcohol. I cannot believe I am actually having this conversation…” All the while you are just sitting there staring at your computer. If it wasn’t so tragic I would have laughed as you were trying so hard not to show how drunk you were.
Honestly, I could not believe I was having this conversation. With you. At this point in my life. I swore to myself when I was 18 years old and read Claudia Black’s book, It Will Never Happen to Me, that I would never become an alcoholic nor would I be in a relationship with one.
Yet… here I am.
I stop short of saying to him it’s either the alcohol or me. Why? Because I am not sure which he will choose and I am not ready to back up the ultimatum with action.
Instead I stand there for several moments, wishing, hoping that he would say something, anything that would make this all better. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen so I left the room, walked upstairs, got ready for bed and took enough pills to ensure that either I wouldn’t wake up or if I did, I wouldn’t care.